ATM guard shot dead in Pulwama

Srinagar: Militants on Sunday shot dead a 40-year-old Kashmiri Pandit man in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district while he was on his way to a local market, in yet another targeted killing of a minority community member in the valley.

Sanjay Sharma, who worked as an ATM guard, was shot in the chest at point-blank range barely 100 metres from his residence in the Achan area of the south Kashmir district at around 11 am, police said, adding he was rushed to a hospital by passersby but succumbed to injuries.

He was not reporting to duty of late following an earlier spate of militant attacks on his community members, his colleagues said.

“Terrorists fired upon one civilian from minority namely Sanjay Sharma S/O Kashinath Sharma R/O Achan Pulwama while on way to a local market,” the Kashmir Zone police said on Twitter.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG), South Kashmir Range, Rayees Bhat said it was a “planned attack”.

He said armed security guards had been placed on duty in the village.

“We had security in place here as well. Under what circumstances this attack took place is a matter of investigation. We will proceed further based on what comes out of these investigations,” he added.

“We are sifting through the information that we have received so far. The terrorists involved in this crime will be soon tracked down and neutralised…. We will not allow the terrorists to succeed in their evil designs,” the DIG said.

It was the first attack on a member of the minority community in Kashmir this year.

Last year, militants carried out nearly 30 attacks on civilians, killing 18 persons including three Kashmiri Pandits, a bank manager from Rajasthan, a woman teacher from Jammu and eight non-local workers.

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